A Mystery Solved: The Best Toys for Great Danes

Great Danes may be humongous dogs, but they're actually extremely lazy and oh-so-clingy.

This breed is the canine world’s epitome of the phrase “gentle giant” and are known to be the world's biggest lap dogs. They're about as mellow as big dogs get. He’s about as large as pooches come, but underneath that massive frame is a sweetheart that loves everybody. 

So what toys best suit this enormous, relaxed love?

Let's check it out, shall we?

Our Picks for the Top Toys for Great Danes

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Product
KONG Extreme Dog Toy, XX-Large
    USA Bones & Chews Elk Antler
      The Virtually Indestructible Ball
        Jolly Pets Romp-n-Roll
          USA Bones & Chews Rope & Bones

            Our Recommendations

            KONG toys carry a strong reputation for being able to withstand the force of pretty much any jaw.

            Given that this reputation has largely stood up time and again, it seems natural to recommend this massive toy as a plaything for your Great Dane. But it’s not just the toy’s super-strong durability that tends to win us over.

            The KONG Extreme works so well because, with proper training, you can make this a reliable toy for your Great Dane to focus on whenever nervousness or separation anxiety occurs. The fact that it is capable of holding a tasty treat in its core has quite a bit to do with this. After all, your big buddy may exert a lot of nervous energy trying to reach the goody.

            Also, the toy's oblong shape and the kooky bounces it can create has great potential to keep your pooch entertained even when you are around, and treats are not found inside.

            Just a word of advice here: anytime you give him the KONG Extreme, make sure he has plenty of room to enjoy the toy. You may regret it if you don't.

            This is a chew toy that comes straight from Mother Nature herself! How can you go wrong?

            Elk naturally shed off their antlers in order to grow new ones, so these chews are totally cruelty-free and renewable. They are non-stinky, non-allergenic, and are not treated with chemicals.

            This is great for teeth and gums and can give your Great Dane some essential trace minerals such as calcium and phosphorous.

            A giant dog like a Great Dane will sometimes require some serious out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to playtime. 

            Great Danes can find great entertainment in batting around, chomping on, or engaging in general mischief with a big ball.

            The only problem with this is the breed’s powerful jaws and rambunctious play style when they’re still puppies could spell a quick demise to a ball that isn’t made for punishment.

            Good thing this ball can take it — hence the name. "Virtually Indestructible". Made with high-grade polyurethane, it is most certainly made for a big dog's playtime.

            What would dogs love better than a ball? Why, a ball with a rope, of course!

            There's endless fun to be had with this smashing combination. Toss it about, chase it, fetch it, pull it, chew it, play tug-of-war... you get the picture.

            It's great fun, and great for strengthening the jaws and teeth. It's made with puncture-resistant, non-toxic material, so your Great Dane will get plenty of play time with it, and will stay safe through it all.

            Can you tell we just love toys with ropes? This awesome chew toy does have that added oomph because it has a rope.

            This is a high-quality toy that's proudly US-made. The colorful rope parts are made from a cotton blend of fibers, and the bones are all-natural, and especially roasted to maintain optimum moisture content so as to keep the bones from getting brittle and splinter-ey.

            This is an awesome toy-slash-treat that is great for canine teeth and gums.

            Things to Know About the Great Dane

            There’s a practical reason why the Great Dane is such a massive breed. This Mastiff-type breed was originally bred to hunt wild boar. However, the dog’s natural elegance made the breed a hit with noblemen eager to provide the pooches with a cushy lifestyle, and the fight was eventually bred out of the blood.

            Nicknamed the “Apollo of Dogs” because of its tall, sleek appearance, today’s Great Dane is considered by some to be the world’s most chill dog. This presents a bit of a dichotomy that ultimately makes this breed fascinating. After all, it has the type of muscular build that on paper would make him a stud athlete.

            Yet Great Danes are docile dogs whose penchant for separation anxiety and seeming lack of body awareness makes him a bit of a klutz with destructive potential. And while he’s friendly to all comers, he will show great courage in the face of a threat. All things considered, it’s no wonder both Marmaduke and Scooby-Doo are Great Danes.

            It should be noted that there is a journey a Great Dane takes on the way to being mellow. Like all puppies, the breed will tend to be a bit rambunctious and exuberant. Given his knack for clumsiness – especially in regards to his wagging tail – this could be a trying pooch for novice pet owners.

            The good news here is that Great Danes are eager to please; a trait that makes the breed relatively easier to train than other dogs. The breed’s affectionate nature also makes it a potentially good dog for children. One caveat to this: make sure your pooch is trained not to roughhouse with your wee ones.

            Great Danes at Play

            Even though Great Danes are relaxed in nature, the breed does thrive on exercise and playtime. However, the type of play that you can engage in with a Great Dane tends to be a bit more complex than other dogs of his size.

            You should be prepared to engage in roughly 30 minutes to an hour of daily exercise with your adult Great Dane, depending on his age. If your pooch is in the pup stage, build that out to 90 minutes.

            Here's where things get a bit dicey. The Great Dane has been bred to be an indoor dog and does not like to spend an inordinate amount of time outdoors – especially if the weather is too warm or too cold. But young Great Danes tend to get the "zoomies,” so some outdoor play is essential so he can unleash these bursts of energy.

            The people-friendly nature of Great Danes also means that the breed is subject to enjoying a little gentle roughhousing with their owner, which may include him getting up on his hindquarters and nearly looking you in the eye. Be sure to control the action in this situation. If not, playful exuberance could lead to an unwitting accident.

            Regardless of where you play with your Great Dane, it’s imperative you cultivate a nice big space for him. Don’t even think about this breed if you live in an apartment. If you own a home, you better make sure you have a backyard when it does come time to indulge in those moments of outdoor play.

            If you have a Great Dane puppy, it's wise not to let him romp outside unsupervised. This breed is a notorious digger, and won’t think twice about ripping up your garden. Considering how big the breed is even in the puppy phase, the damage he can cause is pretty significant.

            What Toys are Best Suited for Great Danes?

            Best Toys for Great Danes 2

            Because Great Danes do like to lope around a bit when they’re outside, objects that can be used in a game of fetch are pretty optimal. He’ll also find great entertainment in batting around and chasing after balls on his own. Because of his frame, he can thrive on romping around with massive spheres that may be the size of some toy breeds.

            A good sturdy chew toy will also satisfy their inner inside dog’s needs. Most chew toys offer the added benefit of helping out with dental maintenance. This is a particularly good thing here; the breed carries a potential for enough diseases as it is without also having also to deal with preventable dental problems.

            What Toys Should be Skipped?

            Treat Great Dane play like you would treat playtime with your kids. In other words, keep the fetching and the ball batting outside at all times. Great Danes can be a klutzy breed, and engaging in these games indoors because he’s an indoor dog is a recipe for disaster for you and your possessions.

            You should also avoid poorly made toys in general, but this axiom is particularly in play when it comes to chew toys. Even though Great Danes are a gentle breed, they have strong jaws that can shred even stuff that’s pretty decently made. Throw in their rambunctious style of play, and you can see why flimsy toys aren’t a wise choice pretty easily.

            You should especially pay attention to large balls in this regard. Don’t assume that all large spheres that you may purchase for your Great Dane are automatically sturdy just because of their size. Unless of course you’re cool with running the risk of picking up scraps of ball fabric all over your yard on a routine basis – then go nuts.

            Conclusion

            However you choose to play with your Great Dane, you'll take delight in his presence simply because he's a sweet doggie whose awkward clumsiness will warm your heart easily during playtime. And he will need plenty of play time to feed his soul, even though he's content with being an indoor dog.

            Sure, there are challenges to creating proper play sessions with your pooch, such as making sure you have ample space for fun. But if you are up for handling all of the unique puzzles this pooch can pose, then you'll have no problem falling in love with him whether the two of you are at play or in relaxation mode.

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